Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of sinners began in 1836 when Father Charles Desgenettes received from the Holy Virgin a special grace : internal locutions saying twice, during and after the Mass he celebrated :
“Consecrate your parish to the Holy
and Immaculate Heart of Mary”
This event took place on the 3rd of december 1836, a Saturday.
Having very few parishioners attending to the Mass, the Abbot Desgenettes thought he had failed in his ministery and wanted to resign his functions in Our Lady of Victories when this message from Heaven came to him.
With the agreement of the Archbishop of Paris, Father Desgenettes consecrated his parish to the Immaculate of Mary in the evening of the Sunday 11th of december.
500 Persons were attending to the celebration when, in the morning, less than 40 persons where present to the Mass ! He constituted that same day the Association of the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners, an association which became archconfraternity in 1838 by the decision of Pope Gregory the XVIth.
A large part of the 37000 ex-voto covering the walls of our shrine remember these years of grace when Father Charles Desgenettes was in charge of the parish (1832-1860) but the thanksgivings of pilgrims and parishioners to the Holy Virgin have never ceased, neither the prayer of the Archconfraternity for the sinners
Nowadays, the Archconfraternity counts more than 1.628.000 individual inscriptions (counted up from 1836) and more than 20 000 christian communities (parishes, congregations, schools etc.) throughout the world.
The engagement of our members is simple (for more precisions see our statutes) :
An individual inscription / or with the family (parents + children) in the Families Holy Therese (little Therese) / or with the catholic community, is taken on one of the three different registers of the Archconfraternity ;
Every day, the member says at least one « Hail Mary » for the sinners ;
If possible, the member attends to a Mass in the honour of the Holy Virgin on the first saturday of each month, praying at the intention of the Pope and for the sinners, in a spirit of reparation for all the hurts made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
That same “first saturday” he praises the Lord with the local confraternity, during a “Marian Hour” presenting to Our Lady of Victories the prayer intentions for conversions and spiritual healings sent to our association.